I’m late jumping on the Shadow Unit bandwagon, but as I spent two weeks in Japan recently and had to carefully hoard my English-language reading resources, I finally overcame my aversion to reading on-screen and started reading through the first “season” of Shadow Unit.

Fantasy/Urban Fantasy luminaries such as Emma Bull, Sarah Monette, and Elizabeth Bear decided one day that they wanted to write a “tv series” (that never was).

The “seasons” are divided into novellas, each a complete story in and of itself, but read in order, with time out for browsing the characters’ interactions on LiveJournal, or referencing the helpful Wiki, or searching for vignettes hidden in the text as Easter Eggs immeasurably adds to the story and characterization.

An FBI special unit in the Behaviorial Department, their main job is to find “gammas” or people who seem to be infected by some entity/disease that thrives on pain and fear. These people begin to exhibit murderous powers.

The catch is, two of the investigators themselves are early stage gammas (special powers, no murdering.)

Shadow Unit is quite simply, awesome. The characters are unbelievably rounded and complex. The interactions/banter is witty, the monster-of-the-week always serves as an emotional foil to the investigators themselves, bringing up uncomfortable issues or past experiences, or calling into question moral guidelines.

If you like Criminal Minds, but wished for paranormal bad guys, or liked X Files but wished for more police procedure and longed for more angst than Mulder could give, than definitely check out Shadow Unit.

And join me and the many others who really really really wish it was a tv show! 🙂

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